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My name is Mitch — “Hi, Mitch!” — and I have a problem. You can’t have any law school gathering without alcohol. A little confused on the finer points of ad hoc rulings in the Madras District, I went to my professor’s office (aka “happy”) hour. Before I could pour a question, he reached into the freezer under his desk and pulled out two frosty mugs. “It just tastes better this way,” he said. “Of course, sir,” I replied. “Will this be on the test?” Thursday we turned in our Moot Court briefs, and, sure enough, our instructor treated us to free rounds at Lalita’s — right after the law school’s regular Beer on the Beach event. What was I to say the next day when Uber-Professor Marks (as I’ll refer to him here) called on me? “Mr. Artman! Did you have a chance to do … today’s reading?!” “Please sir, not so loud. And were the lights always this bright?” What was I to tell him? That I was too drunk to read last night? That I was too hung over to read this morning? That I’m too nauseous to make it out of my chair to throw up for the second bar class in a row? “Mr. Artman, what was the rule you learned?” “Beer before liquor, never get sicker?” His snarl indicated that I am to be the Civ Pro scapegoat until I brief on command, not on draft; go dry on sobriety jurisdiction; refer to the Reif-notes; and concede that I, too, am nothing before the rules. Every attorney I’ve worked for or even interviewed with made sure to push the “social aspects” of his firm. As in: “Sure, we work hard here. But we’re also a tight-knit group. We have a lot of fun together.” Know what that means? Know what that always means? Going to bars and getting hammered, shitfaced, sozzled. Plotzed, blotto, snockered. Maudlin, squiffy, three sheets to the wind. The word of the day classes started this academic year? Crapulous. I’m not making this up. There’s your social bonding. Bonded by the glue of hops. The only thing law school hardens more than your liver is your social conscience. I’m telling you; they’re after us. They are Borg. We’re being trained. And we’re being assimilated. After PI(ss Drunk) Day, it finally hit me: There’s a good reason law school integrates alcohol into every thread of the social fabric of our (bar napkin) lives: They’re getting us ready to be real lawyers. Mitch Artman is a 1L at the University of California, Hastings. His e-mail address is [email protected]

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